Frequently Asked Questions
What is "Railway Interchange"?
Railway Interchange is the name chosen for this combined railway industry event incorporating:
- An AREMA Annual Conference (American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association)
- Technical Presentations by the Coordinated Mechanical Associations (CMA)
- Exhibition organized by:
- REMSA – Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association,
- RSSI – Railway Systems Suppliers Inc., and
- RSI – Railway Supply Institute
Which organizations are involved in Railway Interchange?
AREMA, the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association, is an international individual membership professional association that represents the personnel who design, construct and maintain the railways and transit systems around the world. AREMA, through its 31 Technical Committees also develops and distributes the standards and recommended practices for the railway engineering industry.
RSI, the Railway Supply Institute, is the international trade association representing companies with emphasis on the mechanical segment of the railway and transit industry. RSI is also the railway supplier "voice" in Washington, DC and lobbies on behalf of railway suppliers and their customers at the federal and state level.
CMA, the Coordinated Mechanical Associations are administered by RSI and consist of:
- Air Brake Association
- International Association of Railway Operating Officers
- Locomotive Maintenance Officers Association
- Mechanical Association Railcar Technical Services
- League of Railway Industry Women
REMSA, the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association is a trade association that represents companies that manufacture or sell maintenance-of-way equipment, products and services.
RSSI, the Railway Systems Suppliers, Inc., is a trade association that represents companies serving the communication and signal segment of the rail transportation industry.
Registration and Payment
Why do I need to register?
Registration is required for any part of Railway Interchange. You must register and obtain a badge in order to have access to the various conferences, exhibits and other events. Even those granted no-charge access (students, etc.) must register and get a badge. Badges must be worn throughout the event. Please note that the registration fee for the Exhibition will increase after the Advance Registration Deadline of August 1st of the show year – and the registration fee for the AREMA Annual Conference will increase after the Advance Registration Deadline of August 9 of the show year.
I only want to attend the Exhibition. How do I register?
Registration for RI will be handled by AREMA for the AREMA Conference component, and by a registration service chosen by REMSA/RSI/RSSI for Exhibition only registrations.
If you plan to attend the AREMA Conference, you must register with AREMA and pay the applicable fees. This includes full access to the Exhibition.
If you plan to attend only the Exhibition, please register on the Exhibition web site (or contact one of the three trade associations), follow the instructions and pay applicable fees.
How do I know what affiliation to select? What if I'm affiliated with more than one organization?
If you are only going to the Exhibition, try to select the trade association that most closely relates to your primary work activity. (See descriptions under General – "What organizations are involved…?") If you are attending the CMA Technical Presentations and wish to attend the Exhibition, please select "RSI". If you are attending the AREMA Conference, Exhibition admission is included in your fee.
I thought my company was a member of AREMA. Why am I paying a non-member rate?
AREMA is an individual membership professional association and not company based. In order to take advantage of the "Member" rate, you must be (or become) an AREMA member. To become an AREMA member, please visit the AREMA website at www.arema.org and click on the "Membership" tab.
I am an Exhibitor. How do I register?
In accordance with the policy set by RSI, REMSA and RSSI, in order to receive a badge designated "Exhibitor", you must register for the Exhibition and pay the specified fee as an "Exhibiting Member Employee."
I am attending the CMA (Coordinated Mechanical Associations) Technical Presentations. Do I need to pay a fee to go to the Exhibition?
No. RSI and CMA have set a policy giving full access to the Exhibition to all CMA Registrants.
My Spouse plans to attend Railway Interchange with me. Do they have to register and pay a fee?
Yes. All individuals attending any part of the Railway Interchange event must register and have a badge. Spouses of railroad, government or academia employees may register at no charge for the Exhibition. If you are not a spouse of one of the above, there is a registration fee. AREMA offers a spouse program and there are fees involved with this program. Admission to the Exhibition is included with your AREMA spouse registration fee.
What is there for spouses to do?
Spouses have several options:
- Spouses of students, railroad, government or academia employees may register at no charge. This gives them access to the Exhibition only.
- All other spouses who wish to attend the Exhibition must register and pay the $50 fee (fee will increase to $100 after August 1 of the show year.)
AREMA Annual Conference
- AREMA has an organized 'Spouse Program' that includes a Hospitality Suite ($80 before August 9, of the show year and $90 after August 9 of the show year) that is open during the days of the event -- as well as a Monday Luncheon Program with a speaker.
- AREMA has opened this Spouse Program to any spouse at Railway Interchange who pays the separate fee. This fee will also give them access to the Exhibition.
What is the AREMA off-site Spouse Event and who can register for this?
The off-site Spouse Event is a special program on Tuesday (to be announced) that will feature a special tour and a meal. This requires a separate fee ($85 before August 9 of the show year and $95 after August 9 of the show year) and ticket.
AREMA has opened this event to any spouse at Railway Interchange who purchases a ticket for this Event. This ticket is only for the off-site Event and does not include any other access or privilege, nor does it include the regular AREMA Spouse Program.
What is the AREMA Committee Annual Chairs Luncheon?
The Annual Committee Chairs Luncheon is the opportunity to honor the Chairs of the AREMA Technical Committees for their service to the industry. Corporate tables are available, and many suppliers use this as an opportunity to host their customers. Please contact Christy Thomas for more info and to purchase a corporate table.
What does the AREMA Conference Registration include?
Full AREMA Conference Registration includes full access to all AREMA Technical Sessions (except for the Annual Committee Chairs Luncheon which is a separately ticketed event), as well as full access to the Exhibition. Day passes are available for a fee.
What does CMA Registration include?
CMA Registration includes access to the joint AREMA/CMA Opening Session on Monday and all CMA Technical Presentations and the Exhibition.
What does the Exhibition Registration include?
Exhibition Registration includes access to the Opening General Session, Keynote Speaker Presentation, and all of the Exhibit Halls in the Convention Center. The Exhibits in the Convention Center include three individual concentrations:
- Maintenance-of-Way suppliers under the auspices of REMSA – The Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association
- Communications and Signals suppliers under the auspices of RSSI – Railway Systems Suppliers, Inc.
- Mechanical suppliers under the auspices of RSI – Railway Supply Institute.
I am interested in making a presentation at Railway Interchange. How can I do that?
The technical presentations that are part of the AREMA Annual Conference are selected through a rigorous peer-review process. The deadline for submission of abstracts is December 15 of the year prior to the show year. For information on presenting at the CMA Conference, please contact RSI at +1.202.347.4664. For more information on presenting at the AREMA annual conference, please contact AREMA at +1.301.459.3200.
I am a student. Do I need to pay a fee to attend?
Full-time students with student ID and a copy of their class schedule can register for all of the events, including the technical presentations, at no charge. If you wish to attend the AREMA technical sessions as well as the Exhibition, please register with AREMA. There is a separate fee for any seminars scheduled during Railway Interchange as well as the AREMA Committee Chairs Luncheon.
I am a railroad/government/academia employee. Do I need to pay a fee to attend?
Railroad, government and academia employees, with valid employment ID, can register for the Exhibition at no charge. If you wish to attend the AREMA or CMA Technical Sessions you must register with those associations and pay the applicable registration fee.
Housing / Hotel
What is ConferenceDirect? Why do I need to go through them to reserve a hotel room?
ConferenceDirect is a Housing service that has been selected by Railway Interchange to handle all aspects of hotel reservations for the event. In order to reserve a room in the hotel room blocks chosen for Railway Interchange you must use the services of ConferenceDirect. Rooms blocked through this official authorized system help support the Railway Interchange operation and keep costs lower. We urge everyone to book their room through the system.
How do I reach the Railway Interchange Housing Bureau?
Housing will open in April of the show year.
How do I extend my stay in the show's host city?
If you want to extend your stay over dates not available online, you will be put on a waiting list for those dates and receive an acknowledgment that the Housing Bureau is working with the hotel to acquire additional rooms to complete your stay. Please call the Railway Interchange Housing Bureau with questions at +1.888.538.3920.
How can I be sure I get the best rates and accommodations?
Room rates are guaranteed until September 6 of the show year, as long as rooms remain in the Railway Interchange room blocks. After September 6 of the show year, hotel room rates and/or availability cannot be guaranteed. In other words, book early for best rates and availability!
How long can I make changes to my reservation?
You may continue to modify or cancel a reservation via the Web or the Railway Interchange Housing Bureau through September 5 of the show year, until 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
When can I call the Hotel to confirm my reservation?
You can call the hotel directly on September 6 of the show year to confirm or make changes to your reservation. The Housing Bureau will be officially closed.
I need to reserve multiple hotel rooms for my company; how can I do so?
To reserve multiple hotel rooms, please contact the Housing Bureau directly.
Will the Housing Bureau be open through the RI 2017 Event?
No. The Housing Bureau will close on September 5 of the show year, and you will need to contact the hotel directly to make any changes or cancellations after that.
At what time will the hotel apply the one-night room charge to my credit card to guarantee my hotel reservation?
The hotel may begin to apply the charge to credit cards by early September.
I haven't received my hotel confirmation. When will it be sent to me?
When you book your hotel reservation on-line, or with the Railway Interchange Housing Bureau, you will automatically be sent an acknowledgment that your hotel request has been received. The acknowledgment will be sent by the Housing Bureau and is a record that your reservation has been processed and a room is being held for you.
I made my reservation and called the hotel to confirm, but they don't have my reservation in their system. Why?
Do Not Call hotels directly until after September 6 of the show year, to confirm your reservation. The hotels will be downloading all reservations from the Housing Bureau at the end of August. Please allow a few days for this to occur.
I need to cancel my hotel reservation. How do I go about that?
The Housing Bureau's Call Center will cancel your reservation until September 5 of the show year, and send an email confirmation. You may also cancel your reservation online. Beginning September 6 of the show year, please contact the hotel directly to cancel your reservation. To avoid a penalty equal to one night's room and tax charged by the hotel, please adhere to your hotel's cancellation policy.
- A processing fee of $60 will charged for cancellations made through August 19 of the show year.
- Beginning August 20 of the show year, a $90 processing fee will be charged for all cancellations.
- These charges are in addition to the hotel's cancellation policy, which requires you to cancel your reservation 72 hours prior to arrival or one night's room and tax will be charged.
How can my company exhibit at Railway Interchange?
Three railway industry disciplines are holding exhibitions at Railway Interchange. These exhibitions will be held in three contiguous exhibit halls without barriers. Exhibitors are required to be members of the association with whom they want to exhibit. If your company manufacturers or sells
- maintenance-of-way equipment, products and services, contact the Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) visit www.remsa.org;
- communications and signal equipment, contact the Railway Systems Suppliers, Inc. (RSSI) at email@example.com or visit www.rssi.org; or
- cars, locomotives and related equipment, contact the Railway Supply Institute (RSI) at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rsiweb.org.
What is the policy for suitcasing/outboarding?
Our rules and regulations strictly prohibit solicitation, "suitcasing" or "outboarding" by attendees who transact business at Railway Interchange or hotels or venues associated with the event who are not exhibiting. You may read our full Suitcasing/Outboarding Policy here.
How can I reserve a Hospitality Suite for my company?
RSSI policy does not permit company Hospitality Suites in the RSSI designated hotels. For RSI Hospitality Suites, contact RSI at +1.202.347.4664. For AREMA/REMSA Hospitality Suites (in the joint AREMA/REMSA Headquarters hotel), please contact Desirée Knight at +1.301.459.3200, Ext. 703 or email Desirée Knight.
Who do I contact if I have additional questions?
- AREMA: +1.301.459.3200
- REMSA: +1.202.715.2921
- RSSI: +1.904.379.3366
- RSI/CMA: +1.202.347.4664